Moving EU-Pakistan Relations Beyond Words

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Series Details August 2011
Publication Date August 2011
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Despite widespread acknowledgement that a longterm partnership between Pakistan and the European Union was desirable, neither Islamabad nor Brussels had invested enough in engaging one another. Both parties had compelling commercial, security, and diplomatic reasons to deepen and broaden their relations, but, despite a series of summits, each had emerged disappointed with the other’s capacity to deliver, including on trade issues that formed the backbone of the relationship.

Although policy coordination remained a challenge, Europe had key assets that it could leverage, including its reputation for supporting civil society groups, development initiatives, and democratic institutions. As Pakistan struggled, the EU could become an important niche player, prioritizing its soft power capacities to help a country in transition modernize and reform its economy, consolidate political institutions, and strengthen the rule of law.

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